Everything showed that that Friday would pass quietly like previous ones. The night before, a meeting was held between Ali Abdullah Saleh and some opposition leaders for finding a political solution to spare the country's bloodshed and the possibility of an armed conflict.
Negotiations had reached a stage of forming a national government which would be followed by procedures of constitutional amendments and possibly early presidential elections.
It was agreed to resume the meeting on the next day (Friday). The leaders did not know what was devised under the table, so they appeared to be ensured that the man is serious in reaching a political solution, despite the momentum of the revolution and the high tension that used to increase from one week to another.
Although the youths were shouting for the overthrow of the regime – facing the central security in their protests throughout most Yemeni cities with martyrs falling here and there like any confrontations that happen between angry demonstrators and the police forces, even in democratic countries – people used to accept that as sacrifices and consider it a little price for obtaining freedom, honor and better life.
Though everything seemed to go normally, there used to be concerns due to the official campaigns against youth in the University area, assuming that they caused trouble to the residents in the area, as well as the suspicious movements that the youth have noticed. The most pessimists who dislike the regime and suspect its intentions, did not imagine that what was planned is worse than the conspiration of the toughest criminals. They didn’t expect that what is planned is worse than all the suspicions that could be thought by most pessimists.
On the afternoon of Thursday before Krama Friday, Saleh held a meeting with official media persons, I was among them, as well as those who belong to the GPC and those closer to him so as to establish a new mechanism for an official information policy to deal with what is happening in the protest squares. Up to that moment there was no official decision for using violence against the protestors. Everything suggests a level of reassurance.
I had supper with my mother after Friday prayer, and during supper the news spoke of violent confrontations. I hurried back home and opened the TV channels to find breaking news from al-Jazeera suggesting the confrontations are greater than expected, where the number of martyrs was increasing and the tension rises.
Though I was planning to spend the day with my friends, however the situation demanded my return to my work at the news agency, because I knew that we are before a critical unprecedented day.
Tragic pictures were shown on TV screens, as the official TV news bar, quoted the agency as saying that the confrontation is between the protestors and the residents in the area.
I called the agency as I was going out of my house to know if they are the source of the news, but they denied their knowledge of such news. I knew that we are on the verge of a new incredibility in news formulation, where I knew that the news leak came from a security kitchen.
on reaching my office I told the General News Director to ask the TV to cancel the news or to deny its attribution to the agency, or we would announce irresponsibility of it. The TV reformulated the news after canceling attributing it to the agency.
The pictures that were shown by the channels were tragic, showing that there was a big crime that had been carefully planned. I sat down and followed the events, looking for independent sources to understand what is happening, while we were waiting for the official response to be issued by the presidency.
My frustration reached climax when the number of martyrs reached 50, and I became convinced that this day will be crucial in the advancement of the protests which will develop into a fully fledge revolution.
I felt a defeat that I had never experienced before, with pain and sadness that filled my soul. I asked myself, if the regime that I had worked with for ten years appeared with its ugly face for the sake defending its power or whether there are other facts.
I decided to summon two of our independent journalist who stay permanently in the change square, and they don't know each other to hear from them separately what had happened.
I heard from the two separately, to know the sad fact, and that the regime decided to commit suicide and turn over its page.
The details were tragic and savage. It makes one feel proud of the heroism of the unarmed youth. It invokes tears and makes one to bow before their bravery in the face of a regime that reached the summit of moral collapse.
The incident removed the mask of the regime before the whole world, and led to ending its legality and existence. It brought about the triumph of the revolution by committing this heinous crime.
At least it is a crime that no one had committed since the revolution in 1962.
Targeting and sniping the unarmed civilians with premeditation is a behavior that show barbarism and moral decline that was committed only by the Nazis, Fascists and the Surbs.
The brutes who killed our youth in return for a fistful of money, were the symbol on which the regime would have spent the coming stage of its period.
When he personally appeared in TV, ignoring the feelings of the people who had been shaken by the crime, giving sad contradictory justifications and ordering the formation of an investigation committee I felt very sad.
How dare you announce that you will investigate a crime when you settled the matter by accusing the residents of committing it. And at the same time introduce your Interior Minister to continue talking instead of you, where you should have at least dismissed him, if not order the dismissal of the whole government or you yourself should have resigned.
Oh my God. What is happening. After hearing the evidences of the two colleagues, who came from the protest square, I knew that it is time to immediately end my link with this regime, where continuing with him means the justification of its heinous actions and to cover its ugly crime. This is impossible to anyone who has a heart or respects himself .
The Agency was like a bride in its full dress, because we were preparing on the next Saturday March 19, to celebrate the media person anniversary and the opening of the new press in its new building, as well as the other building for commercial affairs, translation, quality and performance evaluation.
The festival was postponed for the tragic crime, and my sadness was decreased because I will leave the agency for the last time while it was at the height of its offer, complete structure, success and elegance.
Shortly before nine o'clock the noble brave Minister, Nabil al-Faqeeh, called me announcing his resignation, as I was collecting my personal things to leave my office calmly without making the closest ones to know that I was leaving for the last time after working in it for ten years.
I made a last tour around the establishment that I have loved and loved its people who worked honestly with me. I went home to draft my resignation , and the last thing I had accomplished on that day was the brave statement of the Human Rights Minister, Huda Alban who condemned the crime and resigned on the next day.
I started writing the statement as soon as I went home, but I felt that it was not strong enough and not appropriate. I decided to go to sleep so as to relax my nerves and I slept comfortably.
I felt released for taking my decision and did what I believe to be right and agrees with my values.
I got up early and said my morning prayers, revised the final draft of my resignation statement and finalized it in a satisfactory way and went to sleep again.
I switched off my phones and felt refinement, clarity of mind and psychological comfort, although my resignation will upset many who don't expect it because of the exaggerated image of my relation with President Saleh.
At twelve noon I sent the fax of my resignation to the presidency and followed it with an SMS for the operator to turn his attention to it, for fear that it would be lost among faxes and communications, which they would be busily receiving.
I announced it half an hour later and at three in the afternoon a republican decree is issued appointing my friend Tariq al-Shami in my place. This decree may be the fastest one following any surprise resignation lately. I felt released for the fast appointment of my substitute, because it means that they have respected my desire and no attempts will be made to dissuade me.
I felt happy and that mountains of anxiety had been removed from my chest, because I knew that the neutrality that we used to follow in our performance at the agency would not be acceptable by the authorities following the Karama Friday massacre.
I would have been expected to contribute to marketing the crime in way contrary to reality while it was clear to the simplest persons who follows it.
If the authorities were not involved in this heinous crime, the president wouldn't have dismissed the government two days following the crime. He made a deal at the end of the same week at the house of the then his Deputy, General Ali Mohsen, for their resignation and departure both of them from the country. This was in attendance of the leaders of the GPC, the JMP and the American ambassador who attended the deal.
Karama Friday is similar to a turning point in the advancement of the Yemeni popular revolution.
The Karama Friday was a dividing line between what was before and after it. The popular peaceful youth revolution obtained its full legitimacy on that day. Most of the Yemeni people sympathized with it, and it was recognized by the whole world, while the legality of the regime had fallen, because a regime that kills its own unarmed people loses its legitimacy both domestically and at the outside level, and this is what happened on that day. The youth had provided on that day a rare legendary strive to defend their revolution by peaceful bare chests and were able to arrest most of the criminals who committed this heinous act.
When evening of that Friday came the details and evidence of the crime were in the hands of the rebels, and proved. Today we pay tribute the first anniversary of these heroes and the other heroes who fell in all governorates in defense to their revolution before and after the Karama Friday. The pen cannot describe their greatness and sacrifice and it is enough for them to be in heaven with the Prophets, saints and martyrs. We pray to God for the recovery of the wounded and disabled who will remain as a light that illuminates the way for our people to accomplish their dreams of change for the construction of modern civil state.